Patch for cp(1)

David Schultz das at FreeBSD.ORG
Fri Apr 1 09:22:33 PST 2005

On Sat, Apr 02, 2005, Bruce Evans wrote:
> On Fri, 1 Apr 2005, Garrett Wollman wrote:
> ><<On Fri, 1 Apr 2005 20:43:02 +1000 (EST), Bruce Evans <bde at> 
> >said:
> >
> >[cp -r]
> >>I think we don't need to keep it except for POSIX compatibility.
> >
> >>New programs just shouldn't use cp -r.  Old programs that use cp -r
> >>shouldn't have its behaviour changed.
> >
> >I'm more concerned about humans.
> -r is the same as -R under Linux (linux_base_8), and it isn't even 
> deprecated
> in cp --help at least, so it won't go away, and fingers will be trained to
> use it in preference to -R, for at least another 20 years.

Isn't that an argument *for* Tom's patch?  In any case, I think
the argument about old programs is bogus, because there are
undoubtedly more scripts that assume the Linux behavior than there
are pre-4.2BSD scripts out there.

Furthermore, are there situations where -r and -R differ such that
-r would behave reasonably?  If it's the case that every time
someone uses -r they really mean -R, then simply eliminating -r is
worse than making it an alias for -R.

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